Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Desikar Mahavira Vaibhavam Ayodhya Canto

Enforcement of one’s right is not the way to a Dharmic life but fulfilling a father’s wish is
Rama as the 'Lord of Dharma'
Having showcase the teenage valour of Rama in the first 20 Churnikas through the Bala Canto ( , Vedantha Desikar showcases first Dharmic qualities of Rama, the importance he placed to fulfilling his father’s wishes above all else and then his noble qualities in the Ayodhya Canto that comprises of a short eight churnikas. 

Desikar brings out Rama’s love for his brother Lakshmana after the latter had built a beautiful home in Chitrakoota and how his presence had made his stay in the forest so enjoyable and without pain. 

Towards the end of this canto, Desikar sets the stage for the upcoming Cantos by showing Rama’s love for Sita as well as his invincible powers that even Indra, Shiva and Brahmma could not match. He has had a lovely and happy time during this phase alongside Sita and his dutiful brother Lakshmana.

அன்ருதபய முஷித ஹ்ருதய பித்ரவசன பாலன 
ப்ரதிஜனாவஜனாத யவ்வராஜ்ய

Desikar having showcased Rama’s valour of breaking two bows in succession and returning to Ayodhya with his wife Sita towards the end of the Bala Kaandam now showcases the dharmic side of Rama.

He begins the Ayodhya Canto with a simple churnika where he crowns Rama as the Lord of Dharma. All was set for his coronation the next day and grand celebrations were on at Ayodhya. People were eagerly looking forward to the Prince taking over the kingdom from Dasaratha.

It was at this time that Manthara angered at the celebratory process all around poisoned the mind of Kaikeyi and made her call out for the two unfulfilled boons that her husband had granted her earlier for saving his life.

Shocked at her making such an outlandish attitude of invoking an old promise at this inappropriate moment, the great emperor swooned following which Kaikeyi called on Rama and revealed the fulfilment of his father’s promise – that of him spending 14 years in the forest and crowning her son Bharata as the king and the predicament he was in, in conveying these to his beloved Rama.

It is in relation to this background that Desikar brings out the Dharmic qualities of Rama. To him, nothing was more important than making his father fulfil his promise.

It is a great lesson in life on the way to Dharmic life. In this heart warming Churnika conveying a great message, Desikar says that Rama did not battle an eyelid at hearing this piece of information from Kaikeyi. To most others, this would have been shocking news but not to Rama.

To him, the state of mind on hearing the news of the coronation, earlier, and that of now being despatched to the forest were the same. Fulfilling his father’s wish was paramount to him. Not for a moment could he visualise a scenario of his father’s promise being broken. Wearing the robe of a crown prince or that of one in a bark in the forest- both were the same to him for each was the wish of his father.

In this churnika, Desikar showed through Rama’s conduct that enforcement of one’s right is not the way to Dharmic life but fulfilling a father’s wish is.

நிஷாத ராஜ சௌஹ்ருத சுசித ஸுசீல்ய சாகர
பரத்வாஜ ஷாசன பரிகிரஹித விசித சிட்ரகூட கிரி கடக தட ரம்யாவசத

Rama and Nobility
Desikar then goes on to the next quality of Rama- Nobility towards people of all classes and strata.

When he reached the banks of the Ganges, he greeted hunter and boatman Guha with a warm embrace, unmindful of the fact that Guha was a mere tribesman. He did not forget that Guha was a friend from earlier times and illustrated to the world through this episode as to what friendship meant to him.

Having spent time with Guha, Rama moved on to the ashrama of Sage Bharadwaja crossing the Ganges. The sage directed him to the plains below the hills of Chitrakoota and Rama instantly followed the Sage’s instructions. There Lakshmana built a Home so beautiful that Rama felt at peace with himself in the midst of birds and parrots and was full of beautiful colourful flowers and fruits.

He had fallen so much in love with that place that rarely did he miss the richness of his wealthy kingdom and felt that he could spend the rest of his life in this beautiful place.

When Sumantra who had stayed back on the banks of the Ganges in the hope that Rama would return was convinced that it was now a forlorn hope, he returned to Ayodhya to convey the news to King Dasaratha, on hearing which the King breathed his last.

ப்ரணத பரத மகுட தட சுகடித பாதுகா கர்யாபிஷேக
நிரவர்தித சர்வலோக யோகக்ஷேமா

When Bharata who was at his uncle’s place was called back to be informed of the developments, he promised to return with Rama.  On reaching Chitrakoota after dispelling the suspicion of Guha, he tried his best to convince Rama to return but Rama remained steadfast in the fulfilment of his father’s wish.

Unable to convince Rama, Bharata carried back with him the pair of Sandals of Rama and placed it on a throne in Nandigrama where he performed the coronation ceremony for Rama and ruled the kingdom through the Sandals.

Despatches the crow on a Worldwide Trip
பிஷித ருசி விஹித துரித வள மதன தனய பலி புகுணுகதி சரபஸ
ஷயன    த்ருண ஷகள பறிபதன பய சகித சகல சுரமுனி வர பஹுமத மஹாஸ் ட்ர சாமர்த்ய

திருஹிந ஹர வலமதன துராலக்ஷ்ய ஷர லக்ஷ்ய

Desikar moves on to the next and the last episode in the Ayodhya Canto and to his invincible powers, one that showcased his dear love for Sita. This episode also set the scene for the upcoming trauma that he was to undergo.

When a crow pecked at Sita, while Rama was asleep on her lap, he rose and angered at the pain caused to his wife, invoked the power of the Brahmastra and directed a simple blade of grass towards the crow.

Unable to get protection from any of the renowned sages as well as from Shiva and Brahma, the crow came back and sought protection from Sita. Her compassionate gesture meant that Rama forgave the crow by taking out just one eye, bringing loud cheer from the celestials and the Sages.

Setting the stage for the purpose of his incarnation

தண்டகா தபோவன ஜங்கம பாரிஜாத

Having seen the return of Bharata, Rama was keen to shift locations for he expected the residents of Ayodhya to turn up in large numbers to convince him to return. Around the same time, the sages who were continuously harassed by Khara suggested that he leave this place. Thus Rama moved into the Dhandakaranya forest where after meeting Sage Atri and his wife Anasuya, he moved on further. A number of the rishis there requested his help in protecting them from the asuras.

It is in this connection that Desikar refers to Rama being like a Parijatha. While the tree provides everything to those who ask from a stationary position, Rama was mobile moving from one to another demolishing asuras thus fulfilling the wishes of the rishis.

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